World’s worst gods. That’s what Diana’s had in the last several years. If they’re not trying to kill or rape her, Wonder Woman’s supposed patrons are abandoning her, leaving the playing field at the first sign of a challenge. It’s happened again, we learn this month, as the Olympians stand revealed as the shadowy figures who haunt Diana from time to time.
Too afraid of their sister Nemesis, newly empowered, Zeus, Hera, Ares and the rest hide under antimacassars, which, as we all know, are the one true defence against an upstart goddess. Having had no such protection, Diana feels the wrath of Nemesis’s agents, the Morrigan, as we begin this issue. One of ’em – no idea who, they’re too rubbish to remember – is spraying Diana with Death Vomit, in order to convert her to the Morrigan ways. Luckily, the dying Artemis fires an arrow into her throat, trapping the vomit, and the witch explodes, destroyed by the Fart Cosmic
|Zeus, King of the Gods
|A lovely antimacassar to keep chairs ungreasy
This takes out the building too, leaving Diana trapped in the wreckage, helpless, until the Amazons’ pet cat priestess shows up with the magic lasso and suggests that escape might be A Good Thing. That’s when the gods of Olympus/Grandma’s living room show up and shed their soft furnishings disguise. Are they ready to join Diana in the fight against Nemesis?
Are they heck as like! Only you, Diana, powerless but armed with lovely womanly qualities, can possibly defeat her. Bye-bye Diana, we’ll have the kettle on when you get back. Try not to get killed.
Yep, rubbish. Supposedly Nemesis, as ‘goddess of the unjustly slain, the murdered, the war dead’, is fat with god-power due to the constant fighting on Earth. Ares, your actual god of war, doesn’t look to have benefited at all, although he now insists that the gods should have fought back. ‘Put ’em up, put ’em up’ … he’s the Cowardly Lion of Olympus.
So off Diana goes to fight, the soldier on the frontlines while the generals take tea in the Officer’s Mess. And once again she’s being told what do to, a constant theme in J Michael Straczynski’s Odyssey storyline. It’s one thing for the gods to tell Diana she’s learned loads, it’s another for the reader to believe it. This woman can’t put one foot in front of another unless there’s a domestic pet there to egg her on. Heaven knows how she dresses herself in the morning. Which may explain why she’s tied her shoelaces on her arms …
Diana’s entrance into the realm of Nemesis yields the issue’s highlight, as she meets her newly departed Amazon sisters and long-dead mother. They’re in a monochrome world, crying out words Diana can’t hear, crowding her with outstretched arms. It’s a truly creepy moment from scripter Phil Hester, artists Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher, and colourist Pete Pantazis – something this run could have done with more of.
The script’s fine throughout this instalment, but it’s serving a story that’s just going on and on and on, like a little kid telling a tale. ‘And then, and then, and then …’ Something I believe is already being done rather more amusingly in Axe Cop. And the art’s generally nice – the exploding skyscraper is just fantastic, seriously, while Diana looks formidable when she actually remembers she’s the star of the book.
The issue closes with Diana facing Nemesis and learning that she is … herself! Falls back in amazement, no one saw that coming. I say ‘herself’, I should say ‘an incredibly badly drawn version of her old self, with massive eyes, nose and mouth, and rubber legs’. As far as money shots go, I’d give this one about 10p. Should do better.
Someone who does do better is Lee Garbett, who draws this month’s cover – easily the best of the Odyssey debacle. Dave Meikis inks, Paul Mounts colours, all excel.
Hey ho, two more issue to go. Yes, why am I buying this comic?